How To Avoid Phishing This Holiday Season

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Unfortunately for some others, the holiday season is the perfect time to take advantage of a vulnerable population.
After all, along with the holiday spirit comes the holiday spending. And not only are people spending, but they also do so with a certain level of desperation. Theyre competing with countless people to get a limited supply of hot items, theyre putting up with crowded shopping centers and, for the most part, seemingly running out of time at a rapid pace.
Sensing this desperation, scammers head out in full force trying to steal the cash of hard-working, honest people like you. This holiday season, protect yourself from these scrooges by being on the lookout. Here are a few scams criminals may try and loop you into:
Countless web sites pop up at this time of year, offering unbelievable deals on all the hottest holiday items. The sites look legit, so people feel comfortable clicking the complete order now button. However, once theyve handed over the cash, they never receive their items. Why? Because theyve been had by a scammer.
To avoid this, only make online purchases from trusted retailers. If youre still not sure about the sites safety, check with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) to see if any complaints have been filed against it.
Scammers are well aware that people are much more liberal with their charitable contributions around the holidays. To take advantage of these noble intentions, scammers create fraudulent charities to get your money. On the surface, these fake charities look legit. Theyll have literature and the person talking to you will sound honest and believable. However, theyre not.
To be sure about a charity, do some of your own research to make sure its real, or stick to organizations youre aware of. Offer to take the literature from the person and say youll look into it.
Finally, phishing e-mails are another scam you should look out for. These e-mails appear to be from legit companies, and are usually in the form of a holiday e-card. They are used to try to get your personal information like credit and banking. Be aware that this is information a legit company would never ask from you in an e-mail, so you should close the e-mail immediately.
Protect yourself this holiday season by keeping an eye open for scammers. You never know when they may appear!
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